Monday, January 9, 2012


This year I didn't get to do the flying portion at BPPP because my plane was down getting the engines done, so I've been trying to meet up with instructor Jim Gruneisen to do a seudo make up of the flying portion.  For numerous reasons our schedules didn't jive until this last Saturday, so I had scheduled the day for the training.  We've had great weather, and it was severe clear that morning, but for whatever reason it was freakin windy.  I got to the airport at 9am ish and the wind was already blowing 15 kts.  I went over to PAO to meet Jim and was surprised that my ground speed was over 210 kts at 3,000 ft and I was throttled back!  38 kts on the tail and pretty bumpy.

I picked up Jim at PAO and after a small detour to fix my door handle, we were off.  We got beat up by turbulence flying over to Tracy for the first approach, and heard pilots reporting moderate but it probably wasn't that bad.  We did the first approach, broke off to the hold, then went above 5,000 and shut down each engine in turn and practiced feathering a then the recovery.  This was the first time I'd done an in-flight shutdown since the new engines were installed and I was happy to test out the prop accumulators and found they worked great.  We then did a single engine approach to TCY and I heard someone call out on the radio "nice greaser Adam".  I said, "who is that?".   Turned out to be my friend and fellow Baron pilot Larry Mattlock and he said he was about to scrub a trip to Harris because of the wind and turbulence.  I egged him on and said "awe it's smooth above 4,000" and told him I'd meet him there and he agreed to brave the winds.  I filled up with cheap gas, Jim and I spent some time reprogramming the JPI to set my default fuel quantity, and we were off to Harris.

It was interesting landing at Harris which is 2800 ft runway in 20 kt wind gusting to 30, but it was mostly aligned with the runway so it was actually an easy landing with all that headwind.  Here is a shot of the palm trees blowing in the breeze...

Tri-tip was good and then we blasted off for Hollister and I did a single engine approach with a circle to land partial panel, which was basically Jim pulling the breaker on the air data computer.  After that I made one last approach to PAO,  tired from the workout but it was great practice.  I'm instrument current anyway but nevertheless another IPC is done and in the books!

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